We will likely look back at Obvious Child as Jenny Slate’s coming-out party, a perfect blend of “did she really go there?” mixed with sweet sentimentality and some genuine LOL moments. I liked recommending this movie to friends this year because I got to say, “It’s pretty much an abortion rom-com,” and be serious about it for a change. Plus, it was only eighty-two minutes long. Take note, Judd Apatow: comedy works best when it’s short, sweet, and uninhibited. The story was simple enough: girl gets dumped, girl gets drunk, girl has one-night stand with different-class stranger, girl gets pregnant, stranger tries to do the right thing, girl makes ultimate decision.
Written and directed skillfully and with heart by Gillian Robespierre in her feature debut, the highlight onscreen is Slate, whose fearless instincts were given an all-clear and who proceeded to show that she’s more than just a hilarious sidekick or a foul-mouthed antagonist. With Obvious Child a star is born, something the pro-lifers will most definitely figure out how to use against us at some point down the road.—Pat McGuire